Wright Street Falls, Michigan

I am visiting Marquette, Michigan right now, and have visited a number of times before. I forgot my Michigan waterfall book at home, so did a quick search, and found out there was an easy-to-visit waterfall right on the outskirts of Marquette. I decided to check it out today.

The waterfall, creatively named Wright Street Falls is right off of…wait for it…Wright Street. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find, and it ended up being very easy to find. Parking was more abundant than I expected, and the few tips I found online led me to the falls pretty quickly. It’s not a particularly tall waterfall, but it is actually wide. There is something that carries water right in front of the falls, so at first it may seem like you might not be able to get a great view, but you can get a better view. The directions I found suggested following the right side of the river, but I found that the left side of the river had better views of the falls.

Directions:

  1. Wright Street starts off of US-41 right after a Target, but you can get to the parking area by turning on Wright Street at any point.
  2. If you start on US-41, turn right onto Wright Street after the Target. The website I found suggested the parking area was 1.5 miles from the Target. If you follow this step, the parking area will be to your left. It is a surprisingly large dirt parking area. There is a yellow sign there, and if you look to your left, you will see a bridge crossing a river. Pedestrians and bikers are allowed on the bridge. There is another parking area that seems to follow the same description a few hundred feet further east, and you could park there also, but it would require a longer hike to the falls. If you’ve reached the Marquette Board of Power and Light, you’ve passed the parking area, so you should turn around and head back.
  3. Once you reach the parking area, there are two options. You can cross the bridge, and then veer left. There is a clear path that crosses under a large pipe that is carrying water, and you’ll end up on the right side of the falls. I found that viewpoint wasn’t as great, though still got most of the falls. Instead of crossing the bridge, there is a trail to the left of the river that heads downhill. It is a bit steep, but once you’ve conquered that, the rest of the trail on the left side is pretty level. The trail on the left side of the river leads to a more complete view of the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, for right side of the river), 8/10 (easy/moderate, for the left side of the river)
Height: 9′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Wright Street Falls (46)

Wright Street Falls in July 2019

Where in the World is Wright Street Falls?

Dead River Falls #5, Michigan

I first visited the waterfalls on the Dead River in 2009. At the time, I was rather surprised. The book I had made it seem like the waterfalls were not particularly interesting. Instead, I found (at least) four wonderful waterfalls (Dead River Falls #1, #2, #3, and #4). After reaching the 4th waterfall, I tried to see if there was any clear path to continue along the river, but for some reason decided there wasn’t. I could see one more rather small drop in the distance, but couldn’t figure out how to get closer.

I went back in 2011, and found the trail to be closed due to upgrades of some sort, so I wasn’t able to explore the falls again. I hadn’t visited the Upper Peninsula much after that, so decided that this year would be the time to visit the falls again. The trail to the falls was reopened a few years ago.

I had hoped that they had solved some of the issues that exist with the trail, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Most of the trail is relatively safe, but there are one or two areas where it could be rather dangerous. At one point early in the hike, you have to follow the trail parallel to the river, and the trail is narrow and gets very close to a 15-20′ drop. One wrong step, and you could fall very near the river. I erred on the side of caution and tried to hike further up. A friend of mine almost slipped on the way back.

All of it is honestly worth it, though. This time, the trail to the fifth waterfall (also known as Stony Mills Falls) was much clearer. After reaching the fourth falls, it was a relatively easy hike near the riverbank to get to the fifth waterfall. I was surprised to find another moderately sized waterfall along the river, though I really didn’t know what to expect! There is a way to get close to the falls, but I decided against climbing further uphill. I was content with the view that I had from the rocks in the river.

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip

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Dead River Falls #5 (Stony Mill Falls) in early August 2017

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #5 (Stony Mill Falls)?

Dead River Falls #3, Michigan

It’s crazy to think that I visited the Dead River waterfalls just under 8 years ago. When I first started actively looking for waterfalls, I found many of them in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I almost skipped out on the Dead River Falls because they didn’t sound particularly exciting. But luckily I decided to go for it, and don’t regret it one bit. These falls are more impressive than I expected.

As I mentioned before in posts for Dead River Falls #1#2, and #4, these falls have a bit of danger associated with them (more so than some falls). To get to falls 2 through 4 (with others even further along the trail), the trail leads you very close to the river, and it’s a rather precarious trail. The river was clearly flowing well, and one misstep could have been problematic, to say the least. That being said, if you’re careful, you’ll be rewarded with views of these beautiful falls. It just so happens the third fall here is the least scenic of the bunch, with the second and fourth falls being very impressive.

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: ~6′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip

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Dead River Falls #3 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #3?

Whitefish Falls, Michigan

I live in Michigan, and I honestly enjoy living here. So every once in a while I get a teensy bit annoyed when I hear people suggest that Michigan’s waterfalls can’t be amazing because there isn’t a significant elevation change. There are some really great waterfalls in Michigan. Just search to find examples! And then, on the opposite extreme, Michiganders (and maybe other vertically challenged states) have a tendency to advertise waterfalls that aren’t really amazing, and probably wouldn’t even register in other states. Whitefish Falls is an example of Michiganders being just a bit too excited, though I’ve seen smaller than this being called a waterfall of importance.

Whitefish Falls is found in Alger County, which has some really great waterfalls, along with some very scenic waterfalls. Whitefish Falls just can’t compete. I had visited other falls, such as Laughing Whitefish Falls and Miner Falls, in the same time period, so this seemed mild in comparison. It would be a great place to wade and enjoy a nice summer day, but it’s not a waterfall that I would go out of my way to visit (at least after visiting it)! There are just so many other waterfalls that are far more worth your time. (If I remember, there were campgrounds right near the falls, so it could be an enjoyable place to set up a tent, without being as crowded.)

Directions:

  1. There is a stretch of US-41 that runs N/S between Rapid River (which is north of Escanaba) and Marquette. This is found in between M-67 and M-94.
  2. If you head north from the intersection of US-41 and M-67, you’ll pass Utah Road on your right.
  3. Shortly after this, you should see Diffin Road, followed by River Road, both of which will be on your left.
  4. Turn left onto River Road. If you miss the turn, turn left onto River Road. (River Road forms a loop off of US-41, so if you miss one opportunity, take the next opportunity.)
  5. Park at one of the camp areas, and then head slightly northwest toward the river. It really isn’t that difficult to find.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, I don’t think there was a direct path to the falls, but it’s a very short hike.)
Height: 10′ (total drops)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Whitefish Falls in July 2008

Where in the World is Whitefish Falls?

Dead River Falls #4, Michigan

There are some waterfalls that I’ve visited where I’ve had high expectations, and it’s not that I’m terribly disappointed, but not I’m not always sure what the attraction is. On the other hand, there are other waterfalls where my expectations are very low, and I am overwhelmed when I finally see the waterfall. There are two very impressive waterfalls on the Dead River right near Marquette.

I wasn’t expecting much because of the description I read in the book about Michigan waterfalls. I hadn’t seen any pictures, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The first waterfall is not that exciting, but wow, the 2nd waterfall is truly amazing. I wasn’t sure whether to keep walking along, but I did. The 3rd waterfall is small, but I decided to keep going. There was one turn along the trail where I suddenly realized that the 4th waterfall was going to be spectacular. It was early May, and the amount of snow melt created a great surprise. The waterfall is maybe 30′ tall or so, but the amount of water flowing over the falls was amazing. This group of waterfalls isn’t advertised that much, so you’ll likely be alone.

Also, I should mention, if I haven’t already, that the trail leading to the falls, while not terribly dangerous, would be best described as precarious at a few specific points. At one point, you’ll be hugging the dirt trail that is only feet from a river that is flowing VERY fast, at least in May. If you’re not careful, you’ll be carried away by the very swift current. As long as you’re paying close attention, I think you’ll be ok.

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 1.1 miles round-trip

dead-4

Dead River Falls #4 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #4?

Tourist Park Falls, Michigan

A few years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to see Tourist Park Falls. A dam existed at the place where the waterfall is now found, and the dam is no longer there. I guess it collapsed, and the waterfall that was present before the dam was built was again unleashed.

The waterfall that is now there, is a very calming waterfall, though not that large. It’s extremely easy to access though, which is a definite plus. It is found on the outskirts of Marquette near Northern Michigan University.

Update: The dam has been rebuilt, so you won’t be seeing much of Tourist Park Falls.

Directions (to Tourist Park):

  1. From Marquette, head toward Co. Rd. 550 (aka Hawley St. in Marquette), which can be accessed from 4th Street.
  2. As you turn onto Co. Rd. 550 you’ll drive across a bridge over the Dead River. The waterfall used to be located right here.

Accessibility: 10/10
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: not applicable

Tourist Park Falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Tourist Park?

Reany River Falls, Michigan

There’s something wildly beautiful about Reany River Falls. I don’t know how to describe it. At the same time, Reany River Falls also seems very calming. It is very easy to access the falls, and also very easy to explore the falls, which allows you to enjoy the falls up close.

This is partly because Reany River is not a tall waterfall, so there isn’t a whole lot of elevation change going on here. That doesn’t mean the waterfall isn’t interesting or pretty, though. It’s actually one of the more complex waterfalls I’ve seen. Reany River Falls would be better described as a series of multiple drops that combine to create beautiful scenery. The river is very winding, so it’s essentially impossible to get the whole falls in the picture. A part of the falls is actually under the bridge, effectively hidden from view. Seeing that part of the falls better requires some exploring.

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. Right before you reach the parking area, you will have crossed over a bridge. This bridge crosses the Reany River, where the falls are.
  4. Park in the parking area and backtrack to the falls. This parking area will also lead you to the series of 5 Dead River Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 9′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Reany River Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Reany River Falls?

Scott Falls, Michigan

Scott Falls is a small falls. Scott Falls is a fun falls. The waterfall is so easy to get to, as it is right off of M-28. You can pull your car off the road, and you’re essentially twenty feet away, at most. The waterfall is easily missed though, if you’re not paying attention, as it is at an angle to the road.

When I visited in May 2009, there was a lot of water at the falls, and I did have to jump over a ditch full of water to get a closer view. I got wet, and the water was not particularly warm, as it was snow melt. In later months, that ditch dries up, and there isn’t as much water on the falls, though it is a perennial falls. You can get extremely close to the falls, and I even think you can walk underneath it. It’s just a really fun falls to visit.

Directions:

  1. As you’re driving along M-28, you’ll end up seeing the falls.
  2. If you start in Munising, the falls is about 8 miles outside of the city. You’ll travel west to get to the falls.
  3. There is a roadside park right across from the falls, named for H.J. Rathfoot. There is also a sign next to the falls, though as I mentioned it is only visible from one side. Also check out the roadside park, as you are only yards away from Lake Superior.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 12′
Length of Hike: Roadside

Scott Falls in May 2009

Scott Falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Scott Falls?

Dead River Falls #1, Michigan

I’ve already posted about Dead River Falls #2, so this is a check that post out to read more about the second falls. The first waterfall, at least the first major one you’ll happen upon, is pretty. #2 and #4 on the river are even better, though. You’ll still end up passing falls #1, so enjoy the scenery. (Falls #3 isn’t as exciting.)

While I say the others are cooler, I still was pleasantly surprised by the first falls. I had read about the falls elsewhere, and the people seemed less than enthusiastic about the falls. From certain viewpoints, the view is not that great. From other vantage points, it’s much better. Follow the directions I’ve given here to see the better viewpoint, where you’re much closer to the falls.

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: ~6′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip (you could see this one without going to the other falls)

dead-1

Dead River Falls #1 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #1?

Dead River Falls #2, Michigan

I was totally and completely surprised to find such amazing waterfalls on the Dead River. The Dead River is in Marquette County, and the waterfalls are only about 3 or 4 miles from downtown Marquette. I found out about Dead River Falls from the book “199 Michigan Waterfalls.” In the book, the authors didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the waterfalls. In later editions, they noted that there were more waterfalls beyond, though they still didn’t seem to enthusiastically recommend visiting them.

When I showed up, I was at first disappointed because the first waterfall you see is nice, but not the most exciting. It’s the second and fourth falls that are the main attractions. When I stumbled on the 2nd falls, the one shown below, I was really taken back. It is a very wide waterfall, and it had a lot of water flowing over in early May. This falls is the easiest of the falls to view up close. I was standing directly in front of the falls on an island in the middle of the river. It was so beautiful! (Falls #1#3, and #4 are available at these links.)

Directions:

  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10
Height: ~15′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip

dead-2

Dead River Falls #2 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #2?